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Messages - DaveB

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1006
Gear Talk / Re: Lower gearing: change cassette, chainrings or both?
« on: July 27, 2010, 09:49:03 pm »
IOW, if you have 24-XX-52, the "XX" should be at least 39.  It will also be best to keep middle and outer rings that are mated to each other, ramped, and pinned.  (They will be all three if you keep your current crankset and only change the granny ring.  The new granny won't be mated to the middle ring, but that's life.)
All of the advice in this posting is very good but I would add one thing.  All granny rings are dead flat with no pins, ramps or the other shifting enhancements common to the larger two rings.  I have granny rings that came stock on 7,8 and 9-speed Shimano triple cranks and on a 10-speed Campy triple crank and they are all plain, flat chainrings.  Therefore, what ever size and make granny ring you buy will be "mated" to your other chainrings.   



1007
Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520
« on: July 26, 2010, 09:28:21 pm »
  I've seen highly touted sports touring bikes with 73 degrees and a 55mm fork that handled like pigs - supposedly for "stable" steering.  For dirt roads an even slacker angle is better. 
You have the rake figure backwards.  A 73° headtube angle with 55 mm of rake would have very little trail and would be very darty and excessively responsive, the exact opposite of stable and slow responding. 

Remember more rake= less trail and trail is the major parameter in determining steering response.

1008
General Discussion / Re: cassette for phil?
« on: July 26, 2010, 09:19:55 pm »
Dave B,


Thanks for the education, will aluminum spider cassettes have any advantage besides weight for touring use? Is it true that they just notch out you freehub?
Whittierider is correct.  The only problem is using steel cogs on an aluminum freehub body if the design isn't up to the load.  Almost all Shimano and SRAM freehub bodies are either steel or Ti and aren't subject to the notching you are concerned about.  Campy does use aluminum freehub bodies but designs their cassettes to be compatible so it isn't a problem with them either.

Shimano did make some recent aluminum freehub bodied hubs (Dura Ace 7800 and a few high-line pre-built wheel sets) but designed them with taller splines to distribute the load better.  Those are known as 10-speed ONLY hubs since Shimano 10-speed cassettes have deeper notches to match while 8 and 9-speed cassettes do not.   These aluminum bodied hubs are no longer being made and all current Shimano hubs now have steel or Ti freehub bodies and work with 8, 9 or 10-speed cassettes. 

1009
General Discussion / Re: cassette for phil?
« on: July 24, 2010, 07:57:36 pm »
"Alloy" cogs in bike-speak implies aluminum and no one makes aluminum cogs any more.  All decent name-brand cassettes (Shimano, SRAM, Campy, etc.) are good quality steel and differ only in finish and weight. Higher line cassettes have groups of cogs mounted on aluminum spiders to save weight.

The very highest line (read: expensive) cassettes such as Dura Ace and Campy Record have a couple of the largest cogs made of titanium as a weight savings measure but sacrifice durability for low weight.  In fact Campy makes an all-titanium cog cassette but it is a very expensive specialty item and isn't a consideration for your use. 

CastAStone's generalization that SRAM cassettes wear better and are stronger than Shimano's doesn't match my experience at all.  I find Shimano cassettes just as durable and "strong" as any SRAM.  You won't go wrong with either.


1010
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 05, 2010, 01:26:44 pm »
Frankly, the Trek Valencia looks pretty low-line and the components are entry-level.  I believe the crank has riveted chainrings so you can't even change the 28T granny ring for something smaller.  If you want straight bars, look much higher in the Trek Hybrid line-up. 

The "Mendota" appears to be much more suitable and the 11x26 9-speed cassette could be easily exchanged for a 12x32 or 11x32 cassette giving you a quite low low gear.

1011
General Discussion / Re: Expected daily mileage on hills
« on: July 05, 2010, 01:11:12 pm »
Alfonso, I'm wearing regular cotton shorts with polyester boxers, I thought thight cycling shorts were not my style ;)
Well, that's your problem right there.   

True cycling shorts aren't a fashion statement, they are VERY functional riding gear.   If the classic spandex shorts aren't your "style", get some MTB shorts.  They are pretty much standard cycling shorts with a loose, street-wear type short over them so they appear "normal" but have the proper padding and the seams are placed where they don't cause problems.   

1012
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 04, 2010, 08:02:46 pm »
+1 on Baer Wheels.  I've seen and used their services on both GOBA and TOSRV and agree they are a competent shop. 

1013
Gear Talk / Re: Chain Rings
« on: July 04, 2010, 07:56:12 pm »
You could in principle change the 30 to a 26 or even a 24.
You can do it in practice too.  I've converted numerous 52/42/30 Shimano 7, 8 and 9-speed triple road cranks and even a Campy 53/42/30 10-speed triple crank from the stock 30T granny to a 26T granny with universal success.  They all shift well with the only somewhat sluggish shift being from the granny back to the 42T middle ring.  You are rarely in a rush for that shift anyway. 

I do recommend fitting a "chain watcher" to keep the chain from derailling inside on a hurried shift to the granny.  The Third Eye Chain Watcher and N-Gear's Jump Stop both work well.     

1014
General Discussion / Re: Camp Stove - Fuel
« on: July 04, 2010, 07:44:17 pm »
Most "white gas" stoves will also burn unleaded automobile gasoline and, of course, the supply is available at any gas station.  Buy a 1-gt (actually 1L) Sigg or similar metal fuel bottle and refill it as needed.  You might even get what you need free if you catch someone filling their car and ask for a small amount for your bottle.

1015
Gear Talk / Re: carbon fork or steel?
« on: June 04, 2010, 10:45:28 am »
OK, assuming you can get a carbon fork with the right geometry and clearances, now the question is what's it's advantage, right?    A carbon fork will be somewhat lighter but that's it's major difference compared to steel.  The downside is, of course, cost.

You will hear that carbon reduces ride harshness and is more comfortable.  That's a bit misleading. I've ridden numerous carbon and steel road forks and see very little comfort difference.  For a road bike the weight difference is huge and that's the real improvement.  If you want a comfortable ride, use larger tires at lower pressure.

Steel will be more forgiving of abuse and for a tourer, particularly one used for even mild off-road riding, that is an advantage.

1016
Gear Talk / Re: carbon fork or steel?
« on: June 03, 2010, 09:04:18 am »
By a "29'er" I presume you mean a MTB frame.  If so, can you even get a carbon fork with the correct geometry and clearance for the wider tires the frame implies?  Perhaps a carbon cyclocross fork would do it but a carbon road fork will have too tight clearances.

1017
Gear Talk / Re: Windsor Tourist
« on: May 29, 2010, 08:33:50 am »
But further, the distributor that sells Windsor has had a ton of other problems besides the frames themselves, ranging from easily chipped paint to things assembled improperly to false advertising and the worst customer service in the industry.  I would never send a friend to them.  I know there are some people who are happy with the product; but this company has had a disproportionate number of very angry customers.

As long as you are going to post in both threads on this subject, I might as well too. :)

+1.  I've seen very mixed reports about Bikesdirect products.  Some customers are quite pleased and others terribly disappointed.  Partly it depends on how good a bike mechanic the customer is.  

Good mechanics expect to go over the bike in detail correcting the assembly flaws and shortcuts and aren't surprised by what they find and have to fix so they are satisfied with their purchase.  

Inexpert owners can run into a lot of problems they have to pay someone else to correct and will be very disappointed.

BTW, I wonder what the OP wound up buying. It's been 4 years so he should have done something by now.  It would be nice to have feedback on his experience.
  
 
 Report to moderator    74.111.127.40  
 

1018
Gear Talk / Re: Windsor Tourist? Is this a good bike?
« on: May 29, 2010, 08:29:17 am »
But further, the distributor that sells Windsor has had a ton of other problems besides the frames themselves, ranging from easily chipped paint to things assembled improperly to false advertising and the worst customer service in the industry.  I would never send a friend to them.  I know there are some people who are happy with the product; but this company has had a disproportionate number of very angry customers.
+1.  I've seen very mixed reports about Bikesdirect products.  Some customers are quite pleased and others terribly disappointed.  Partly it depends on how good a bike mechanic the customer is. 

Good mechanics expect to go over the bike in detail correcting the assembly flaws and shortcuts and aren't surprised by what they find and have to fix so they are satisfied with their purchase. 

Inexpert owners can run into a lot of problems they have to pay someone else to correct and will be very disappointed.

BTW, I wonder what the OP wound up buying. It's been 4 years so he should have done something by now.  It would be nice to have feedback on his experience.

1019
General Discussion / Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« on: May 25, 2010, 06:46:57 pm »
That said the fit of my bike is very important as I have found myself to be very biomechanically sensitive...... My bike is perfectly set up for me and changing something as important as shoes, pedals, and cleats is not worth it.  I will be sticking with my road shoes and cleat covers.  If I wasn't so finicky I would be using an SPD set up with MTB shoes for sure.
The main difference between road pedals/shoes and MTB pedals/shoes will be the stack height, that is the distance between the pedal spindle and your foot.  Typically MTB shoes and pedals position your foot further away.  Try to measure this distance for both your road and MTB set ups and raise your seat by the same amount.  That should make the bike feel the same.

1020
Fenders? Absolutely.  If your frame and fork have the clearance for them, full coverage fenders are a blessing in any kind of bad weather.  They keep you dryer and your drivetrain a lot cleaner.

I've used several other brands and the Planet Bike (these: http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7004.html ) are my favorite.  They are easy to install and adjust and give very good protection at minimal weight.

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